Canadian police file charges over alleged coup attempt in Haiti

Canadian police file charges over alleged coup attempt in Haiti


Canada’s federal police said Thursday they charged a man in the province of Quebec with alleged plans to sow violence in Haiti and overthrow its government.

Gerald Nicolas, a 51-year-old resident of Levis, Quebec, is said to have “planned a terrorist attack to overthrow Jovenel Moise’s Haitian government,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement.

The RCMP said an investigation begun in July 2021 found that Nicolas actively planned to “stage an armed revolution in Haiti and ultimately seize power”.

These “concrete actions,” it said, included trips to Haiti to coordinate a group to take part in the coup.

However, the RCMP found that the conspiracy had nothing to do with the killing of Moise, who was shot dead in his bedroom by a commando squad at his home in Port-au-Prince in July 2021.

Haitian police quickly arrested around 20 people, including 18 former Colombian soldiers believed to have been hired as mercenaries.

But their investigation has since stalled.

No further information was initially available about Nicolas’ alleged motives for wanting to overthrow the Haitian government.

The Caribbean island nation’s presidency has been vacant since Moise’s death, and no date has been set for a vote to fill the post.

Haiti is now gripped by instability provoked by armed gangs terrorizing the population and is dealing with a renewed outbreak of cholera – after eradicating a previous epidemic of the diarrheal disease that killed more than 10,000 people.

Nicolas is scheduled to appear in a Canadian court on December 1 to face charges of financing and aiding terrorist activities and traveling abroad.

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